FAQ

I don’t have much money, and my car is older. Do I really need to buy car insurance?

State laws require that you be able to show proof of financial responsibility when you register your vehicle. Most states require that you have, at a minimum, liability insurance coverage that will pay for medical expenses and damage to the other person’s property in case you are involved in an accident in which you are at fault. If you feel that the cost of collision and comprehensive insurance on your own vehicle is more than the vehicle is worth, this is coverage you may choose not to purchase. Another way to keep coverage on your vehicle, but keep costs down, is to choose a higher deductible amount that you would pay before the insurance kicks in.

Your Schultheis Insurance Agent can advise you of coverages you need and recommend cost-effective insurance that fits your situation.

I have the opportunity to buy group life insurance at my job, and the rates are pretty low. Do I really need to buy additional life insurance?

Participation in your employer’s group life insurance plan is an excellent way to acquire low-cost life insurance coverage to protect your family in the event of your death. However, you may benefit from the purchase of individual life insurance as well. If you leave your current job, your group insurance coverage will no longer be in effect. Replacing that coverage will be costly as you get older, and some health conditions may make it extremely expensive or even impossible to acquire individual life insurance at a later date.

Your Schultheis Insurance Agent will spend time with you to review your family’s circumstances and recommend cost-effective insurance that fits your situation.

I live in an apartment where I pay rent monthly. Do I need to buy homeowner’s insurance?

Since you don’t own the building where you live, you don’t need to provide homeowner’s insurance. However, you should consider purchasing renter’s insurance that will help you replace your property, such as computers and entertainment electronics, furniture, even your clothing, if you have losses due to fire, storm damage, water damage, or theft. In addition, renter’s insurance will provide liability coverage in case someone is injured at your home, and will provide an attorney to represent you if you are sued as a result of such an injury.

Let your Schultheis Insurance Agent help you review your individual situation and locate appropriate, cost-effective insurance coverage.

I’m confused. What’s the difference between Term Life Insurance and Whole Life or Universal Life?

Term life insurance is insurance that provides a set amount of insurance coverage at a specific monthly or annual premium for a specific term, for example 5, 10, 20, 30 years. At the end of the term, your coverage will cease. Term life insurance does not accumulate cash value during the time you are paying premiums, but the cost of the insurance is lower than a comparable value of whole life or universal life insurance.

Other types of insurance, including whole life or universal life, are considered permanent insurance. Your coverage will continue until your death if you pay the premiums. Another feature of permanent insurance is the ability to accumulate cash value, which you can borrow from the policy or leave to increase the value of the death benefit to your heirs.

Whole life (or ordinary life) insurance is the most common type of permanent insurance. The primary features of this type of policy are that you will have a guaranteed amount of face value (the amount paid to your heirs at your death), a guaranteed rate of return on the cash value of the account, and a guaranteed premium payment amount.

Variable life provides death benefits and cash value that are tied to a portfolio of investments maintained by the insurance company. If you are willing to assume some risk, this type of policy can provide the possibility of higher return both in insurance and cash value.

Universal life insurance allows you to pay premiums at any time and in any amount, within certain minimum and maximum ranges. With this type of policy, you pay for a guaranteed death benefit, which you can increase or decrease if you wish, and the additional premium payments help build your investment in cash value. Most universal life policies also guarantee a minimum rate of return on your cash value in the policy.

Variable universal life also features a flexible premium amount and allows you to select from a variety of investment options which will fund the policy. You may change the amount of the death benefit and the premium amount over the life of the policy, and you may access the cash value of the investment portion of your account through withdrawals or loans. However, such withdrawals will reduce the value of the death benefit if not paid back into the account.

How to choose which type of insurance is best for you? As a general rule, term insurance is a good choice if you will need coverage for a limited period of time (get the kids through school, pay off the mortgage, etc.) and if you need a lower premium cost because of your current financial condition. Permanent insurance is a better choice if you want to be sure your spouse’s lifestyle will be protected after your death if your other financial assets would not be sufficient, or if you want to leave your children and grandchildren a lump-sum amount at your death.

Your Schultheis Insurance Agent will help you evaluate your insurance needs and decide which type of insurance best fits your financial situation and future needs.

What are the options for paying my insurance premiums?

Schultheis Insurance will gladly accept your insurance premium payments by internet, mail or phone. You may also choose to drop your payment off at our office or take advantage of our convenient drive-thru window. Our associates are always happy to assist you.

In addition, you may choose to mail your premium directly to the insuring company or to pay them directly by phone or internet. Some companies will also allow you to set up convenient direct deposit to pay your premiums as they are due.

Refer to “Make Payments Online” on the Schultheis Insurance website to find out details about which companies have phone or internet payment options available and to link directly with their websites.